Christmas Gift Selction # 7 For 2017 – Bird Of The Month Club

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Captive Golden Eagle

Note: This is a repost of one of our Top Ten Gifts for the discerning buyer originally published in December of 2013, a year that will live in infamy. In what has become a half-assed tradition here at The Institute we have been irregularly reposting these now famous gift selections when we remember to do so in a lame attempt to create a Holiday Tradition and mostly because we suddenly realize it’s Christmas time and we don’t have squat done. It’s fun and we don’t have to spend the time making new stuff up. Enjoy.

*The Institutes Own Bird of the Month Club!!!

Here’s something truly different for that often fussy hard to shop for person on your gift list. Give them a membership to our exclusive Bird of the Month club. They’ll have you to thank as each month, regular as clockwork, the Fed-ex guy shows up at their doorstep with that months selection. All birds are guaranteed to arrive alive, healthy and hungry, with full documentation as to country of origin, quarantine papers, customs declarations and care and feeding instructions. Note: our birds are guaranteed to be alive upon delivery, unlike the parrots that were imported from England in the 60’s that arrived as, well, dead parrots.

This has been a very successful program for us with satisfied customers in nearly every state. Imagine the fun as you wait for the Fed-ex delivery of each new months selection. Not only will the kids will be out of their excited sugar fried brains, but you will be too, as you wait for each month’s unique delivery. We can tell you the types of birds you will be receiving during the year but it will be a surprise as to which individual species you get each month.

This month’s selection has already been chosen and as you can see it is the beautiful American Golden Eagle. Imagine owning your very own Golden Eagle! This bird had recently been flying free over the Rocky mountains, hunting its prey, the Snowshoe hare or the wily Hoary Marmot or the occasional Shih Tzu, and through a special arrangement with the Department of the Interior we are able to trap them (using a patented humane Leg and Beak restraint system we developed here at the Institute) re-educate them and sedate them with FDA approved “EagleDown”  a mild tranquilizer we use to make the birds manageable while we do stuff to them.

Birds arrive at your doorstep in a humane carton, ready to be unpacked and placed in their new surroundings. Simply remove the bird, dispose of the packing pellets and snip the military grade zip-ties with heavy-duty wire cutters (not included), remove the eye patches and quickly but firmly stuff the bird into its new cast iron home, a 2′ x 3′ cast iron cage constructed out of 3/4″ rebar and welded tightly by trained free-range welders. Cage optional at small extra cost. Note: on some of the larger, more aggressive species you may choose to reverse the unpacking order. Note: Allow 7-14 days for sedative to wear off before handling birds. Carabao (water buffalo) hide gloves highly recommended, available for a small extra cost. If cage is not purchased we recommend chaining bird to heavy door frame, oak or heavy fire resistant metal best. Have children stay back at least 3′ from chained bird during birds waking hours.

Use caution when throwing live rabbits, (our eagles primary food) at them during feeding times. Eagles fiercely protect their food and will attack anyone coming close. Restrain children with fuzzy furry slippers from approaching eagle. There have been some unfortunate incidents reported. Live rabbits, or bunnies as they’re known in the United States, or hares as our friends in the U.K. call them, are available from our catalog at a small extra charge. Flemish Giant Rabbits also available by special order. Each Flemish Giant rabbit is a four day supply of food for your Eagle. Special pricing if rabbits are ordered around Easter. Choose our Year’s supply in special garage-ready storage unit.

This years exciting selection of species include the European Wood Stork, the very one that delivers all those European babies, the feisty but lovable Caracara, a South American eagle, (wear protective eyewear around this eagles razor sharp beak) the Dipper or Ouzel for those with garden ponds, our choice of either a Great, Barred, or Barn owl, Sorry no Snowy’s this year. We were unable to come to an agreement with the Canadian government over our trapping methods.

New this year, the Black-Browed Albatross, usually a long oceanic flier but we have modified the feather patterns on either wing so they simply loop around your yard in a delightful but small radius circle. (your choice of either left or right wing. Do not choose both wings option as the bird then will just sit on the edge of the pond in a non-flying state) Perfect for those with small garden ponds. 100′ of 600lb. test monofilament “TetherSafe” line available for small extra cost. Monofilament line is transparent so it looks like bird is flying free. Another new choice is the Snail-eating Limpkin, another treat for the indoor or outdoor gardener. We’ve included the Vermillion Flycatcher, great for shut-ins and apartment dwellers. No more flyswatters for you!

A perennial favorite and recently brought back to our collection by special agreement with the Egyptian government, we proudly offer the classic White Ibis, long a favorite of those pert but sassy pyramid builders. Our new and improved variety no longer needs to be near major architecture. (Our Ibis is most comfortable around homes of 7500′ to 12,000 square feet, but have been known to survive around upgraded mobile homes.This selection replaces the Roseate Spoonbill we normally have on hand. Due to a diet change imposed on the spoonbills by the Florida division of wildlife the Roseate Spoonbills’ color has turned from its usual lovely rose color to a muddy dull maroon with green highlights, quite below our standards.

We round out the selections with our usual, Western Tanager, Emu, African Bee eater, and the always popular, Scarlett Macaw.

Bird of the Month Club Membership 12.95 per month plus shipping and handling

Availability: In Stock

Note: Due to fluctuations in the world market, revolts, coups and general unrest, customs intercessions, organized disapproval of our practices, or lack of funds to complete the program we may at our discretion substitute a realistic life-like hand-painted reproduction of the common sparrow, or even a slightly faded photograph of same if our monthly choice of species is unavailable.

 

This is one of our least expensive gift programs selected this year but we’re sure you’ll agree it’s certainly one of our most unique. We can offer this program at such a low price because of the huge volume we do in the licit trade of relocating animals and birds around the globe. You may also wish to explore our trial program of “Ducks of the Month” and new this year “African Predators of the Month” this should be an exciting program. Order soon!! Order Often!!

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

Chaco Canyon Redux

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As alert readers you may have noticed a decided lack of fresh new posts with their scintillating images and incredibly succinct prose lately. That’s because The Director here at The Institute said “OK, I’m taking a break. We have not been on one road trip this year and I’m tired of looking at all these Monet’s and Rembrandt’s here in The Institute’s main art gallery. I’m tired of looking at all these first editions in the Presidential library. You can only look up so many words in the Gutenberg Dictionary before it gets to be boring. I want to go out and experience life again amongst things and places that are real. That have relevance in the real world. “So fire up the Bokeh Maru. Load the stores. Find room for the interns and we leave at first light.” The Bokeh Maru as many of you know, is our smaller research vessel and is used primarily for our shorter excursions.

That was it. About a week or so ago we followed the moonlight down the mountain having rigged the Bokeh Maru for silent running so as to not disturb the neighbors and turned her bow South by Southwest. We had two main agendas to complete. First and foremost we were headed to the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico to attend the largest gathering of Native American tribes in the United States and Canada for a weekend of dancing, competitions, fellowship and fun, (much more on that in future posts) and secondly, we needed to stop and revisit *Chaco Canyon Historical Park, one of the singularly magical places you can visit.

* http://www.bigshotsnow.com/life-and-other-things-of-interest/

* http://www.bigshotsnow.com/la-ventana-de-oro/

It was a brisk morning with the sun just rising and burning off the light fog that covered highway 287. The Bokeh Maru was in rare form wanting to run into the wind as she hadn’t had a real outing since last fall. It was a trial just holding her back to maintain the speed limit. It didn’t help that the interns were frisky as well and had taken to bouncing up and down in the back of the rig just aft of the head causing the Bokeh Maru to wallow and list and nearly raising the front wheels off the pavement. After several admonishments and stern warnings to cease that childish behavior we stopped, tied several of the ring leaders to the back bumper and set off down the road. The anguished cries and sweating faces pressed up against the rear window soon had the rest quieted down and our progress became smooth again.

Our first stop was Chaco. Chaco is a place every human being should visit once in their lives. Not all of you at once of course, but make sure you do it. Check with your neighbors so you don’t all cram in there at the same time. It ought to be in the top ten of your bucket list. Above is an image from Pueblo Bonito, one of the main building sites in the park, there are many more of course, but Pueblo Bonito is the largest building constructed by the ancient ones and feels like it has the most magic.

You can enter into the ruins and wander and sometimes crawl through the small openings from one room into another. Touching the cool walls deep in the recesses of the palace, calling it a palace is no exaggeration by the way, feeling the reflections of past lives pass by you, listening to the quiet that is so deep and profound until the wind finds its way through the passages, rubbing against the cool stone walls to finally brush up against your face, is an experience that cannot be duplicated. TV and movies just don’t cut it, you need to be there. Occasionally you will hear a raven call as it flies high up against the cliff face that stands behind the building it’s plaintive squawking filtering down upon you. This is a special, special place and the feeling you have is not unlike entering a cathedral, the same feeling of exhilaration and profound peace is there.

It was at Chaco that several of our interns wandered off into the desert in search of whatever was in their minds at the time. This happens. We start off with a dozen or so interns and as the trip progresses there is a certain attrition and we come back with fewer if any when the trip is over. That’s why we always take more with us than we need. One word of caution to the potential visitor to the park. You must want, really want, to get there as the last 16 miles of dirt roads will test your resolve. Anything over ten miles an hour will have a disastrous effect on your vehicle. The Bokeh Maru made it without mishap but it let its displeasure be known to us by showing everyone all the new squeaks and rattles and fallen off bits that it incurred during the trip there.

After Chaco we returned to roads that had blacktop and concrete on them and things got easy again. We arrived at the Gathering of Nations without further mishap and although we had been told it was big, we were unprepared for the enormity that greeted us. It was held in the West Pies arena in Albuquerque and the word was thousands upon thousands of visitors attended it. This was probably an understatement as it felt like a lot more. There were over 2800 registered dancers and competitors alone registered for the show. It is almost beyond words to describe the cacophony of color and sound and whirling bodies and drums and singers that assaulted your senses in a good way when you walked into the arena. This was a huge event and we’ll be posting images from it for some time trying to give you some feeling for how it felt to be there.

This is where we lost the rest of our interns. There were only seven or eight left by that point anyway. We should have known better. It was just too overwhelming an event to thrust these young minds into. Occasionally we would see one of our interns out in the middle of the arena floor dancing with abandonment, eyes rolled up into their heads, oblivious to the modern world, then they would be lost in the swirling crowds of dancers on the floor and that would be our last glimpse of them. We were sorry to lose them of course but it did improve the Bokeh Maru’s gas mileage on the trip home.

Soon, as our processing department catches up on the several thousand images taken while we were there we will begin posting them for you viewing pleasure. As always it feels good to make it back to The Institute unscathed, or perhaps just a little scathed. Everything connected to The Institute’s grounds survived our absence and we’re beginning to regroup and prepare for the next excursion. The summer is filled with exciting events to attend and we’ve scheduled many of them. Stayed tuned for details of our travels and adventures. Maybe we’ll see you out there.

 

 

North American Indian Days 2015

This post has been moved to OpenChutes.com. All future postings of Powwows, Indian Relay Races, Rodeos and Rendezvous will be posted there from now on exclusively. So if you’re looking for new images and posts for all those events attended this year, plus all the old posts posted on BigShotsNow.com check out OpenChutes.com. See you there!

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Last week, July 9th thru the 12th, The Blackfeet tribe put on its 64th annual North American Indian days (or NAID) on its reservation at Browning, Montana. It was 4 solid days of Dancing, singing, fellowship, and socializing amongst one of the largest gathering of Indian tribes in the United States and Canada.

Every event held throughout the celebration began with the Grand Entrance where the color guard, made up of military veterans from the various tribes, brought in the colors. These included our American flag, Canada’s flag, the Blackfeet tribe’s flag, and others to be presented with respect to everyone assembled. Many men and women of the tribes served in the armed forces and this is a very important part of the ceremony. To participate in this honor, with drums sounding out their deep resonance, singers celebrating with their voices, joining the gathering of hundreds of spectators, the sun beating down and the hot wind blowing through the presentation arbor, this is an experience that will remain with you for a very long time.

When you attend this event one of the first things you notice is the riot of color around you. The regalia, the decorations, the site itself is full of every hue of color imaginable, from the earth tones of the arbor and dancing area to the manmade colors of some regalia, and the natural shades of the surrounding area. The natural light of the far northern part of our country has its own unique look and feel also, and being just a little more than 12 miles from the eastern entrance to Glacier National Park adds to the overall effect with mountains in the background and of course amazing sunsets.

The sounds are the next thing you notice as the deep rhythmic notes of the many drums and songs work their way into your senses. Drums and drummers from many places around the country, the singers joining in, the sounds of the calls made by the various participants as they dance around the arbor, are nearly overwhelming. You are immersed in the experience completely. They draw you in and mesmerize you even if you don’t understand the words. It is easy to get lost in the sound and action and swirling colors, but that is part of the experience of being here. And it feels good.

Over the next few days we will be bringing you the sights of this incredible experience, the regalia , the dances, along with the other events such as the rodeos and Indian Relay Races, plus some of the views of the countryside around the events themselves. It was a spectacular experience. If you can, go to the next one, it is worth every second you spend there. The Blackfeet welcome all guests and you’ll never forget the time you spent at The North American Indian Days celebration.